Women are often more cautious than men, a quality which has become highly valued in the post-financial crisis world. Intuition is another valuable ‘female’ quality when it comes to investment decisions. And last but not least, women are often more goal-driven, knowing that they sometimes need to work twice as hard as their male colleagues to get ahead.
She isn’t alone in putting financial planning on the back burner. According to the 2014 Northwestern Mutual Planning and Progress Study, the number one roadblock for people who think their planning could use improvement is a lack of time. Other studies show that many American women share this “head-in-the-sand” approach to long-term planning. But that strategy won’t work, according to Rebecca Bast, a financial advisor for Northwestern Mutual; not if women are to enjoy the financial security they deserve.
My role involves providing pricing updates, writing market reports, assisting with the execution of transactions and some direct work with clients. It's a busy and demanding environment and I get asked to do plenty of different things during the day. My job involves a lot of multi-tasking, but I have to pay close attention to detail and be able to prioritise urgent requests.
As CEO of the Marketing Zen Group, we work with clients in a variety of industries, finance being one of them. Recently, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that one of our clients, Allegiance Capital Corporation, a premier middle-market investment bank, had launched a proactive initiative to attract more women for business development and investment banker roles. I was very curious to learn more. What compelled them to encourage women in an industry which has historically been known to be a “boys only” club?
2. Most banker chicks I have met are hardcore nerds. They went to the best high schools in their respective countries. They are top 10% of their class. If they were here for their MBA, they went to top notch undergraduates either in the US or in their home countries. I haven't forgotten about American born Chinese (ABC). All of these banker chicks went to Ivy League.
You should have a six-month emergency fund. Investing is a great way to grow money but the key to making it grow is time. Why? Because investing is a risky venture. When you put money in the market, you are saying, “I don’t need this money for a few years.” First of all, you could invest and see that money decrease immediately. But the short-term fluctuations aren’t important. What is important is that over the long term the money will likely grow. So, while that money is tied up, you’ll need an emergency fund to tide you over during any rough spells—unemployment, bad health, etc. (We’ve got more reasons here.) And besides, when you sell your investments, you have to pay taxes on that—making a savings account a much more attractive place to store some extra cash. (Follow our checklist to build up your savings.)
Be judicious about reporting it. If it happens during an on-campus interview, talk to your college career office. They’ll determine how to address it with the company and can anonymize their report. It’s harder to report harassment if it happens at an informal event and you’re not an employee of the firm. As much as I hate to let guys get away with this behavior, you may have to let it go for the time being if that’s the case. Calling the firm to report him runs the risk of branding you as a potential liability – but you can tell other women in your network about it so they know to watch out.
MS. SMITH: More than 200 million women worldwide are running businesses. These are amazing women, and yet there are obstacles that keep these amazing women from reaching their full potential, and that includes lack of access to capital. But the women on this panel are doing something about it, and we're going to talk to them about what they're doing and how they're overcoming those obstacles, and we're going to learn something about it as we go. I want to introduce Josefina Urzaiz, who is the co-founder of Hammock Boutique, and Fundación Cielo in Mexico. Next to her is Nigest Haile, who is the Founder and Executive Director of the Center for Accelerated Women's Economic Empowerment in Ethiopia. And next to her is Jill Calabrese Bain, and Jill is with Bank of America. She is the Managing Director and Head of Sales for Bank of America's Merchant Services. So, I'm going to begin with Nigest. So, you are the founder of Enat Bank, which focuses on women. Why was it necessary to start a bank for women in Ethiopia?
You should not have any credit card debt. This means you pay off your credit card balances in full every month. Why credit card debt in particular? Because if you aren’t paying that off every month, you aren’t making enough to support your basic living expenses. Once you get a budget that keeps you out of the red on a monthly basis (excluding debt like student or car loans), then you can start thinking about investing. (If you have credit card debt, try our Get Out of Debt Bootcamp.)
Knowledge shortfall. In truth, women do appear to be less knowledgeable about investing than men are. A 2015 study by Financial Finesse found that 67% of women answered yes when asked whether they have “general investment knowledge regarding stocks, bonds and mutual funds,” compared with 84% of men. And the figures don’t just represent women’s lack of confidence, says Kathie Andrade, president of personal advisory services at TIAA. The financial-services firm asked men and women a series of questions about bonds, asset allocation, inflation and interest rates and found that men scored considerably higher overall.
I certainly agree with your analysis. As you and some of the GWI scholars have mentioned, the finance industry is often depicted with its misogyny, corruption, and greed. I think this skewed and incomplete depiction of the finance industry is a huge obstacle in diversifying employment in the industry in terms of both race and gender. My relationship in finance began when I interned at a private equity firm in Shanghai, China two years ago. I overheard a private equity manager say it was “fortunate” that many Chinese workers were being burnt, as it helped the sales of a medical company that the firm invested in. It was like a scene straight out of the Wolf of Wall Street, steering me away from the money-driven industry.
“TFS Scholarships was inspired by my own father’s experience as an inner-city high school principal, and grew out of the realization that more could be done to support students searching for college scholarships,” said Richard Sorensen, president of TFS Scholarships. “For more than 30 years, TFS has helped students achieve their higher education aspirations by making it easier to find essential funding for college.”
Simply put, women don’t invest as much as men do. And they don’t invest as early as men do, either. Of all the assets women control—both inside and outside their portfolios—they keep a full 71% in cash, according to a survey by BlackRock, whereas men hold 60%. Cash may feel like zero risk, but it also has zero potential to grow as stocks do over time. And even with low inflation, the purchasing power of that cash will decline over time. So the price of certainty you get with cash is high.
Partly because of this dynamic, she said there's often a career premium for women who are young and beautiful. "You get a lot of beautiful young women in banking who find themselves replaced by a new generation as they get older. - I've seen older women being made to hand their accounts to 22 year-olds. They complain, but they were in that position once - they were the 22 year-old who took another woman's clients. Women don't help each other."
Partly because of this dynamic, she said there's often a career premium for women who are young and beautiful. "You get a lot of beautiful young women in banking who find themselves replaced by a new generation as they get older. - I've seen older women being made to hand their accounts to 22 year-olds. They complain, but they were in that position once - they were the 22 year-old who took another woman's clients. Women don't help each other."
Before I started my job, I was more concerned about whether I would find my place here given the image of investment banking in the media over the past few years. But when I joined J.P. Morgan I was surprised by how nice everyone was. The people I work with are really friendly, normal and chilled out, and this is true from the other graduate analysts right through to high-level managing directors who are always willing to take the time to explain things and answer questions. We organise events for analysts and also have lots of networking activities, so it's a very inclusive environment.
SHE doesn’t over-allocate its stocks in any one industry and is similar to a broad market fund, according to analysts, which is important for anyone who wants to diversify. SHE had a year to date return of 18.43% as of December 8, 2017. By comparison, Workplace Equality ETF (EQLT), a fund that holds the stocks of companies that support workplace equality of LGBT employees, had a return of 19.23% over the same time period.**
MS. VERVEER: One of the other things I've been in this learning experience about the region, the area, the state, and I understand the disparities between economic mobility, economic and equality, not peculiar here by any stretch but obviously significantly disparities, and maybe you can explain why. But we deal with that across the country, we deal with it all over the world. And we're here really focusing on entrepreneurship, and Bank of America has been a leader in enabling women to grow their entrepreneurial skills because we know what that can do to grow economies and provide the kind of wind at the back of economies.
“TFS Scholarships was inspired by my own father’s experience as an inner-city high school principal, and grew out of the realization that more could be done to support students searching for college scholarships,” said Richard Sorensen, president of TFS Scholarships. “For more than 30 years, TFS has helped students achieve their higher education aspirations by making it easier to find essential funding for college.”
He also found that cortisol levels rise during a market crash, increasing risk aversion among traders and exacerbating the decline. Since women have significant lower testosterone levels, Coates argues that they are less prone to the irrational exuberance associated with stock market bubbles. While the study by Coats is focused on biological factors, it is not the only study to draw similar conclusions with regard to the investment behavior differences between men and women.
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"My biggest advice to women who want to save more money is to make more money," said financial expert Nicole Lapin, the winner of GOBankingRates.com's 2015 Best Money Expert competition. "When you stop looking at your financial life as something of deprivation and more of something as aspiration, that's when you actually feel comfortable of taking control of your own finances."
Today, gender equality is in the spotlight like never before. The #MeToo movement has encouraged countless women to share their stories about being harassed at work—myself included. Powerful men have lost their power, while powerful women (hi, Oprah) are putting their platforms and their money into stopping workplace harassment and abuse. It’s been incredible. And it’s just the beginning.
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